Remember White Rabbit candies? Those creamy, milky, confections popular with Pinoy kids growing up in the ’80s and ’90s. Well, now you can wear it on your face, thanks to a line of candy-inspired face masks designed by Randolf Clothing’s RJ Santos, who was struck with the idea one morning while having coffee.
“I loved White Rabbit as a kid especially the white edible paper,” Santos told Coconuts Manila over chat.
“I was thinking of a new mask silhouette that didn’t have a center seam. So I cut a rectangle fabric and started playing with it. One of the things I did was get an elastic band and pulled it while sewing onto the fabric. When it was finished it looked like candy,” he said.
The resulting masks were two limited-edition design sets: a White Rabbit variant called The White Randolph sold in sets of two for PHP1,500 (US$30), and a Tootsie Roll line called the Randolf Roll — based on the classic taffy-like candy — that you can cop in threes for PHP1,850 (US$38).
“I just had fun with it. It’s also very true to what Randolf is about, which is poking fun at the obsessiveness of pop culture,” Santos said about the cult clothing brand that he started back in 2013, which makes use of upcycled scrap fabrics in its eccentric designs.
“But for the masks, the recycled scrap fabric is limited to the interlining—the middle fabric. It has three-plies. The shell or outer material is made of water repellent fabric, so we had to buy that,” Santos said.
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Before selling masks on Randolf, Santos, a clothing technology major also made them for himself, handing them out to frontliners at the start of the lockdown.
“Mostly [they were given to] trash collectors in our neighborhood, sometimes to Lalamove or Grab delivery riders. We also donated PPEs in hospitals.”
He’s also helping out other creatives in the community by producing these equally eye-catching coverings designed by artist Tyang Karyel, who’s raising funds to cover her father’s hospital bills who recently died from COVID-19. The mask comes in twos for PHP1,400 (US$28), and PHP1,000 (US$20) of the proceeds will go to the artist.
“Now more than ever we need to encourage people to really protect themselves and at the same time make it somehow fun, so that we can balance things off with a little lightness,” Santos said.
Editor’s note: Cloth masks are not appropriate substitutes for surgical masks among frontliners, but wearing one reduces the possible transmission of COVID-19 droplets among individuals, especially if practiced with social distancing, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.